Saturday, 29 December 2012

Colour Challenge 52 - Amazon

Last colour! It seems fitting that I've ended this challenge as I began, with a faun, so bringing it full circle. I don't know why I like fauns so much; usually I'm much more a fan of the predatory species; but green makes me think of woodland, and this is a particularly coniferous shade. It matches the detail on my shirt which is part of the outfit for a wood elf, in everybody's library, and something I'd already played around with. Looking for antlers, I decided to go with the new ones I won on the Enchanted Frost hunt and make it a white faun for winter. It also has echoes of Cernunnos or Pan, the ancient forest god. I think I will name her Ceinwen, which is Welsh, meaning 'beautiful' and 'white, blessed'.

The wood elf outfit was fortuitous as I didn't have a lot of time to find a match, what with the colour swatch being announced late (over the Christmas holiday, indeed..!) and me falling ill AGAIN - just as I was recovering from the bronchitis and chest infection, Jamie's school sent him home with a really nasty cold for the holidays. I've been sick for nearly a week and we missed Christmas dinner, which I'm hoping to make up for as soon as I get my sense of taste back. I've now been ill for two solid months >.< Anyway that's why I'm only just posting this up with 2 days of the year left to go.

*\|\* Guardian of the Winter Woodlands */|/*

Panpipes haunt the forest gloaming

Where the sacred deer are roaming

Watched o'er through the winter's night

By Ceinwen, Horned Lady White.

*\|\* Credits */|/*

Location: Lair of the Winter Wyrm (part of the Isle of Wyrms)
Windlight: Fairy dark blue (Paulina)

Cloak, shirt, buckskin pants, belt & gauntlets from WoodElf avatar by Wraith Unsung
(Gamer Male avatar in library) - cloak modified with additional decoration from KOSH Maplewood Smith necklace (as worn in post #31) because the ties interfered with the necklace itself.

KOSH oaken wristbands (worn on upper arm)

Boudoir 'Frosted Faun' antlers (from MadPea Enchanted Frost Hunt, just ended)
Boudoir 'Forest Faun' animated panpipes & leaf attachment (the full avatar has a brown, autumnal version of the hunt head, legs, and many more leaves, but also a lot of butterflies which weren't quite wintry enough so I had to leave them off).

Skinthesis 'Chia Mia' hair (CAHH3 prize)
By Snow 'Alienite' eyes (free gift!)
Frick 'Dragonfly L'Exposition' skin in noir
Rotten Defiance White Raven faun legs (modified)

This is the end of the Colour Challenge, as Luna won't be running it for a third year - I think the colours are getting too similar, now that all the clear contrasts have been used. I'm sorry for everyone who was hoping for another go, but I would have ducked out of the next round anyway. I had a fantastic time and am so glad I did this (and managed all 52 colours! W00t!) but it was a struggle, and I think I've achieved everything I set out to, and more than I anticipated. I knew going in that the challenge would stimulate my creativity, but I never quite realised how it would stretch my ingenuity and even change my attitudes to certain colours. I haven't changed the primary colours in my wardrobe, but I view other colours in a much kindlier light, even the dreaded pinks! I've amazed myself with the lovely (or at least interesting) avatars I've been able to put together for the most difficult hues, and will doubtless wear them all again. 

I am so grateful to Luna for thinking up and running this challenge, but also to my sister Rudh. Without her I never would have heard of the phenomenon of blogging challenges, and her crazy, creative posts during the first year (2011) were a huge inspiration. I probably wouldn't have kept going this year, when the colours were tough and real life conspired against me, but I always knew she would post something I'd have to live up to each week, in a spirit of friendly competition, and that motivated me in the same way it helps to visit the gym with a friend. Rudh isn't the only person I have to thank, as over the course of this challenge I've come to know other bloggers and admire their style and talent. Everyone is a winner in this challenge, I don't think there are any 'firsts'; we've all shown a unique perspective in the ways in which we interpret and showcase the colours, and I have learned a lot from you all in styling, photography, framing and the discovery of delightful new stores to raid for my hoard! I'm sorry that I haven't been able to comment as much as you all deserve (or that sometimes I commented so late, you probably didn't realise!) but I have really enjoyed looking through the posts for each week and have seen many pictures so lovely I would gladly hang them on my castle walls as artwork (I haven't, because that would be theft). 

I hope everyone has enjoyed this challenge as much as me, and gained as much from it, and I hope we all continue to work on our blogs the way Luna intended us to. Here's wishing you all a healthy, happy new year and continued inspiration. As Ceinwen would say, Blessed Be!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Colour Challenge 51 - Madder Lake Deep

~ In the bleak mid winter, frosty wind made moan
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.
Snow had fallen snow on snow, snow on snow
In the bleak mid winter, long ago. ~

I mentioned I'd be looking for a chance to showcase my Dryad in her winter form - and here she is! I was lucky to pick up the dress from the first round of the Womenstuff Hunt, and it's actually a perfect colour match; the lighting in these shots makes it appear darker. The detail on the dress is a tracery of twigs, which might be what inspired me. This avatar was a work in progress until now, so the challenge finally pushed me to work on the branches, which I have modified substantially from the original version. The skin is perfect for the occasion. It is called 'Winter Stole the Dryad's Heart' and was made (as part of a set) for a special event some years back, so I'm afraid it's probably no longer available. 

For people in modern times, winter often seems magical, with the wonderland of snow and the allure of Christmas or other midwinter holidays. But it is also a very cruel season, particularly to nature. It is beautiful, but deadly. I've been suffering with bronchitis since the beginning of November, now on my second course of antibiotics, and am in constant pain from having strained my chest muscles through coughing. I haven't been able to tidy or decorate my house and the floors haven't been cleaned in over a month. Christmas cards are not yet sent, there is no tree, and I am feeling very sorry for myself - so I can really identify with this poor frozen Dryad!

*** Winter Stole the Dryad's Heart ***

Snowflakes skate along glittering moonbeams
A girl in red stands on a frozen lake
Her frozen heart is pinned upon a branch.

Crimson marks her snowy breast
Winter stole the Dryad's heart
Now she weeps bloody tears.

Leaves shatter in the icy cold
Skeletal fingers on haunted trees
But with Spring her heart will beat again.

*** Credits ***

Location: The Enchanted Frost Hunt by MadPea 

Outfit: Grendel's Children Dryad tree arms (heavily modified)
House of Ruin 'Change of Seasons' Dryad skin (ghost) & eyes (carmine) ~ store now {Rue}
Magika 'Tomorrow' hair (mesh)
Wild Serenity 'Amore' coral dress (from Womenstuff hunt)
Ruby circlet by Elros Tuominen
House of Rain 'Laughing Bloody Murder' necklace (ltd. ed. from Unhinged event)
Livid Tears of Blood and Nosferatu claws (free gifts!)
Yellow Jester impaled heart from A Tainted Love hunt
Lassitude & Ennui solar & lunar bracelets

I apologise that so often, as here, I use items which can no longer be obtained. The simple fact is, I am doing this challenge for myself, using what I have. If you like my avatars, if they inspire you, if an item catches your eye and switches you on to a previously unknown store, that's great! But I'm not and never will be a fashion blogger. I credit for two reasons: to acknowledge the designers who make the lovely things without which I couldn't play dress-up; and to give you an idea where to go to find, at the very least, more of the same style, if not the exact same items.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Colour Challenge 50 - Gold

From least to most fitting, this week is gold, gold, GOLD - *my* colour! At last a chance to truly be myself and shine in a way my friends would recognise. The avatar, therefore, was not too difficult to assemble but I had a bit of trouble finding a good photo-location. I wanted somewhere palatial, Byzantine rather than Gothic, but the places I tried had too much gold in the background and it would have been another 'Where's Fledge?' post with you squinting to find the outlines! Finally it occurred to me to try Svarga, because that has long been one of my favourite places in SL, and as well as being beautiful it seemed fitting to showcase myself there - the true Fledge, in one of my dearest haunts. 

Because the colour is gold, there was also no way I could pass up the opportunity to reveal my draconic Trueform for this post, an avatar I modified to be unique and to suit the way I see my draconic form. I would like to note that if  you make the week's colour shiny (on a coloured prim), because gold is of course metallic, it also matches my humanoid outfit perfectly; without shiny, it is a little mustardy. Gold is a very tricky colour to pin down in textures and I have been chasing it throughout my 6+ years of SL. 

You may be wondering why, if the avatar is totally 'me', it's brand new for this post; the answer being that it's a new skin, a very generous gift from a friend. Previously I  have tended to wear my adapted dragon horns as seen in Lemon Chiffon, with other skins of varying yellow to golden shades. These horns were a better colour match, and now I've made this, it's my new favourite.

~O~ Gold Dragon Queen ~O~

Dancing in the Palace Courtyard

Seeding Flower

Waterside #1 - Trumpet Flowers

Waterside #2 - Waterfall

Waterside #3 - Pool

Dragon, aloft!

Dragon, at rest.

~O~ Credits ~O~

Location: Svarga, using windlight setting Nam's Optimal Skin 2 (lovely deep sky)

This fantastic sim no longer has a working ecosystem (I believe it requires rather extensive maintenance) but still features all the functioning elements except plant growth - rainfall from clouds (you can see one overhead in the first image), seeding plants and pollinating insects (day and night species). Birds and bats flit about, which used to control the insect population. Originally, plants would seed after pollination, and seeds required rain to grow. You could watch in real time as flowers bloomed and grew larger on empty patches of earth. It was a fantastic system but although the AI part is no longer active, the sim is essentially unchanged and there is plenty to see. You may still be able to buy a functioning eco-pack for your own sim if so inclined.

Skin ~ Plastik ~ Aquamer ~ Andri (with matching ears)
Horns ~ Rue ~ Horn'd/Scholar: Everwilde: Zexmenia (with added shiny)
Hair ~ Magika ~ Sofia (mesh, tinted)
Eyes ~ *aN* ~ Pop Star Cat Eyes Sunny Yellow
Gauze ~ Alagos Eyebrow Tattoo
Wings ~ Gnash Graves ~ Supreme Demon wings (full perms, unscripted)
own shape and tail

Gown ~ PurpleMoon ~ Elwing in gold (group gift)
with gloves from PM Pheasant gown in gold
Shoes ~ Fierce ~ Serpentine in gold
Lassitude & Ennui ~ solar and lunar bracelets
Finesmith ~ Kirin's Poem jewellery in gold (crown, necklace, ring)

Dragon Avatar:
Customised blend of Isle of Wyrms Shadow and Spirit wyrmlings

Juicy ~ angel1 (Dancing in the Palace Courtyard)
fairy-dance *free* pose (Seeding Flower)
badgirl22 *free* pose (Waterside 1-3)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Colour Challenge 49 - Cotton Candy

I have been saying (threatening?) for a while now that if another pink came up, I would put on my Barbie doll. (The pudding for week 45 was too good to miss though.) I have PurpleMoon to thank for the dress - heaven knows when I picked it up, I imagine it was a group gift from the subscriber because I don't think I would have deliberately taken it from the main group board in-store - it's pretty but it's about as far from my usual fashion choices as you can get! However, it is perfect for this challenge, and for Barbie. I knew Rudh had a pink posing box like the packaging you get Barbies in, so I asked to borrow that, and then she had the inspired idea of me being a Christmas present under the tree. This led to me setting up an impromptu Christmas scene on Hell's workshop platform, after I promised to clean up after myself. The results are really quite startlingly cute and sugary and it's good that I've got this out of the way early in the season because I have plans for the Christmas week and... well it depends what colour crops up but let's just say I'm going to try to be as anti-glitz as possible. I do love Christmas but the kitsch gets to me before it even properly begins, IRL as well as SL.

Now with that in mind, it has to be said, though I love what I've done with the theme this week, this is the least 'Fledgey' of my Challenge outfits to date and I don't quite feel comfortable wandering around in public in it - I know, I've tried. In another sense though, because I'm playing at being an animated doll, it IS very 'me'. Everyone who knows me finds the look slightly scary - and my husband looked over at my screen, threw me a look as though I'd sprouted another head, and said in ominous tones "You've CHANGED..." - meaning that the colour challenge has gone to my head and affected the way that I dress. He could be right! But there was one person who loved the look, and that was Violin Cupcake, my adorable little (SLadopted) daughter. She came over at the perfect time to join in the photoshoot and complete the theme; so without more ado, I present:-

~*.*.*~ A Little Girl's Christmas ~*.*.*~
~*.*.*~ Wish Come True ~*.*.*~

Twas the night before Christmas and under the tree,
Was a box with a dolly, as pink as could be!
In a gown of spun sugar she was seemingly dressed,
As against her boxed confines she eagerly pressed.
Then who should sneak out, at her presents to peep,
But young Violin, who should be fast asleep!
Christmas morning at last, and the doll was unwrapped;
"Pull my cord!" she said with a giggle, and clapped.
Then under the tree, with her nightgown and lolly,
The little girl danced with her new living dolly.
Violin never wanted this Christmas to end;
For Santa had brought her a magical friend!

Really, what little girl wouldn't want a life sized, magical, talking and walking dolly -in a pink ballerina outfit- for Christmas? (Well, as a child I could have done without the tutu but I'm sure I would have loved the doll.)

Close-up for detail against my dressing mirror. The skin even
has seams at the correct places for joint attachment.
~*.*.*~ Credits ~*.*.*~

Barbie Doll avatar by Mason Wylie ~ free *full perms* shape, skin, eyes and four different hair colours, with a pull-cord that plays random recorded doll phrases; you can even hear the rattle of the cord winding up as she talks! Ask me if you'd like a copy. Outfit not included.

PurpleMoon Pink Orchid ballet tutu with prim shoulder detail.
Heavenly Bodies pink rose lingerie.
Awesome Designs pink cotton candy French tip manicure.
Vinyl Cafe pink pumps.

Relentless Couture My Little Pony necklace (creator's first rezday thank you gift)
SSUS Valentine's Day candy heart earrings (store closed)
Exodi Summer Lovin' bracelet (pinkypolk)
FKD cotton candy (with eating animation).

Props & Scenery:
Grim Bros. Wonky Houses ~ Candy Cabin (with some extra Christmas decor by me)
Botanical Snowy Holiday Fir
Golden Delish Poses Dollbox (store closed).

I don't know where Violin bought her outfits but I love how her favourite jammies match the post colour! She was delighted to show off her own wardrobe and I was lucky to get these shots in between all the changes.